THE INVENTIONS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD : PART 2

RODDSI SARKAR

SECOND YEAR (B.TECH), DEPT. OF ECE, JALPAIGURI GOVERNMENT ENGINEERING COLLEGE

At the start of the nineteenth century, only gas and oil lamps were to be found in homes and businesses, communications took the form of handwritten letters that took days to travel across the country, and several weeks across oceans. But by the end of the century electric light bulbs were common.

By 1865, a telegraph cable connected the United States and England. High-energy electromagnetic radiation in the form of x rays was being used to diagnose injury, and radio waves had been discovered, enabling a series of communications revolutions in the early twentieth century ( the latest of which is the spread of cellular phones ).

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, electric motors powered an increasing number of time and labour-saving devices, ranging from industrial hoists to personal sewing machines. Electric motors proved safer to manage and more productive than steam or internal-combustion engines.

How did this herculean change take place ?

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Yes, these equations changed our world.

The seeds of that enormous change were planted in the 1830s, when the British physicist Michael Faraday built electric motors and showed that two natural forces, electricity and magnetism, were related. He proposed that these forces existed as "fields" that permeated space. In the latter half of the 19th century, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell formulated the equations that described these fields. In 1865 Maxwell published a set of equations that describe all electromagnetic phenomena, as they are called.

These are the equations of light, the mathematical relationships that showed us how to electrify our world and transmit energy and information through the air.

Maxwell unified electricity, magnetism and light, which are known as Maxwell’s synthesis.

Such was its importance that Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his work in quantum electrodynamics(QED), the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, pointed out : "From a long view of the history of mankind, seen from, say, ten thousand years from now, there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell’s discovery of the laws of electrodynamics equations which revealed electricity, magnetism and light to be different manifestations of the same phenomenon."

Data Sources: http://www.maxwells-equations.com/m/index.php

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